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19-y/o tech enthusiast/work in progress. All things STEM, business, and behaviour.

Trying to understand the mystery around digital audio

You’ve probably heard the hype around audio in the past year or two. (See what I did there?)

My ears perked up when I heard that Spotify bought Anchor and Gimlet Media for $340 million in 2019, and again when Spotify allegedly spent $100 million to get Joe Rogan’s podcast exclusive to the platform.

And it’s not just podcasts. The whole audio space is heating up — did you hear about Clubhouse’s latest valuation? The exclusive, audio-only social app is believed to be worth $1 billion.

Here’s my rundown on why audio is interesting and who’s capitalizing on it:

Why is audio interesting?

A…


Using real business principles to rank influencer products

In January, ad rates on sites like YouTube tend to drop — companies shell out for the holidays, then pinch pennies next quarter.

When digital-first creators are at the mercy of unpredictable algorithms and seasonal ad rates, many respond by becoming businesses themselves, which is French for ‘make their own products’.

Analyzing some of these products gives me the perfect chance to marry two of my obsessions: YouTube content & business strategy.

Here are our contenders:

  • David’ Perfume (David Dobrik)
  • Ani Energy (Sway Boys)
  • The Curiosity Box (Vsauce)
  • Gamer Girl Bath Water (Belle Delphine)

David’s Perfume

David Dobrik is one of the biggest influencers in the…


WIP PRIMERS

How (and why) synthetic biology wants to reprogram your cells

Welcome to WIP Primers, a series of articles from Work In Progress that will give you a <5 minute crash course on an Irish stew of deep science, tech, and business topics.

Our goal is to marinate your brains so they can really absorb the seasoning of our more technical episodes. (I’m famished, if you couldn’t tell).

Let’s get into it!

Table of Contents

  • Definitions
  • An Imperfect Analogy
  • Use Cases
  • Looking Ahead
  • Companies + People to Look Out For
  • Want More?

Definitions

Circuits

A system of electrical conductors and components forming a complete and closed path.

We usually find electrical circuits in machinery and…


The 200 IQ strategies that made Among Us win quarantine

screenshot of character from Among Us game
screenshot of character from Among Us game

Yeah heartbreak sucks, but have you ever been murdered by your bro outside of cams? (Looking at you, Ariful). If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, you probably haven’t heard of Among Us.


Which companies are best positioned to take advantage of the new virtual healthcare wave?

I turned 18 recently which means I’ll soon have to face the most terrifying challenge of adulthood — making my own doctor’s appointments. (AHHHHHHH).

But a crisis is a terrible thing to waste — and telehealth got the memo. Virtual care adoption is skyrocketing like SpaceX’s chunky Starhopper, and these companies may be pulling it forward (in no particular order):

  1. Livongo
  2. Teladoc
  3. Propeller
  4. Omada
  5. Ro

Regulations have been relaxed, secrets spilled, and hearts broken (I assume), but it’s here — the age of telemedicine. Let’s get some definitions out of the way first:

  1. Telehealth/telemedicine: some form of bilateral communication between…


BYTE/SIZE

Velodyne’s going public: explaining LIDAR and special-purpose acquisition companies

Velodyne is a startup that specializes in Light Detection and Ranging tech, or LIDAR for short— it’s a good position to be in, especially since they’ll be the ones supplying our autonomous vehicle overlords in the future.

They’re going public via a special-purpose acquisition company — condensable to the oh-so-sexy acronym SPAC — called Graf Industrial Corp. And we can expect many hardware/autonomous vehicles startups going down this path in the future.

Okay, I just threw an Irish stew of information at your brain. I apologize. …


What do coffee mugs, Netflix, and IKEA all have in common?

Have you seen this meme going around?

Cake. Everything is cake. Is your worldview broken? Good. Go kiss your wife through the tears. Oh wait, you can’t — SHE’S CAKE TOO.

Housewives from the American 40’s were not made of cake. In fact, this was the era when instant cake mixes were just being introduced to the public.

When they were first rolled out, all they had to do was pour the mix into a bowl, add water and stir, put it into the oven and yabba-dabba-doo — cake!

Sounds like heaven, right? WRONG. Despite the convenience of the…


BYTE/SIZE

With a video chat feature coming soon, the dating platform could use artificial intelligence to detect offensive images

Turning 18 is a big step in anyone’s life, one that I took a month or two ago. It usually comes with a number of rites of passage: buying your first lottery, having your first drink, entering into soul-crushing debt agreements.

Another is joining Tinder. We may be physically distanced, but the need to connect with others is stronger than ever. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, I guess?

That’s a lie, your high school relationship won’t last 2 weeks into university, JESSICA.


CAUSALITY

The economics, neuroscience, and socio-cultural psychology of innovation

Despite the constant hoopla in the news about “how fast we’re progressing”, it’s possible we’re not advancing nearly as fast as we were a hundred years ago.

Economist Robert Gordon says that innovation is slowing down due to a number of factors, including stagnation in the discovery/development of general-purpose technologies that can propel the entire economy.

Whether or not you think this is true, the point remains — everyone would like to be more innovative. Here are a few ways we can hack/encourage innovation in academia, our brains, and our culture:

  • Scientific stagnation is a venomous snake in 19th century…


3 ways the e-commerce sweetheart is setting up for a Canadian invasion

Illustration of the Shopify logo with maple syrup, money, and baseball items coming out of it.
Illustration of the Shopify logo with maple syrup, money, and baseball items coming out of it.

I’m Canadian, which means I drink milk out of a bag, ride a polar bear to school, and my blood type is maple syrup. It also means I was founded in the same place as e-commerce platform Shopify.

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